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9 Nicodemus answered and said to Him, “How can these things be?”


Nicodemus rejected Jesus’ authority to reveal truth in this verse. He could not bring himself to believe in the idea of being “born again.”

9 Nicodemus answered and said to Him,

Nicodemus, by expressing his doubt over what Jesus said about being born again, showed he was not on the road to spiritual transformation.

How can these things be?”

Although Jesus tendered the wind illustration to Nicodemus, he could not bring himself to understand it because he was steeped in his previous bias of legalism. All he knew was salvation by works. He persisted in his doubt about the concept of regeneration.

The essence of Nicodemus’ question was: How can a person be spiritually born? He was stuck in an understanding quagmire. He was incredulous about Jesus’ revelation of a second birth. He devolved into doubt and into a state of confusion. It was difficult for him to let loose of his legalistic system of salvation. This is why he was deeply mystified.

From this point on, Nicodemus had nothing more to say. Jesus warned him not to marvel, but this is exactly what he did; so Jesus shifted from any further communication with this Pharisee. He would now move toward a more developed explanation of the new birth for people in general.


Openness to truth is the first step to salvation.


Nicodemus, as the teacher of Israel, should have known about the new birth because it was found in Jeremiah 31 and Isaiah 44.

There are none so blind as those who will not see. Negative volition will blind us to truth. Many people will not believe in something unless they can justify every last detail to themselves.

However, it is impossible to live life this way. We may not completely understand how gravity works, but we must still walk on the planet! Preoccupation with unnecessary side issues will prevent us from grasping the whole of things. Openness to truth without demanding every last detail is not credulity.